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Culture Archaeology Monuments Fortresses Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Rodopi Municipality of Komotini

Part of the foursided fortress in the center of Komotini
(Photo: Parakeuas Konortas)

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28/11/2007
Fortress of Komotini

Aikaterinh Balla
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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The Fortress of Komotini is the biggest and the oldest monument in the city, which was built, due to economic and strategic reasons, in a strategic position, next to the route of Via Egnatia in order to protect the inhabitants of the area.

It is an almost square fortified enceinte that probably bore prominent circular towers in each one of the four corners as well as 12 prominent square intermediate defensive towers. The castle had four gates, with the central being on the eastern and northern sides. It bears stone and strong crash tile masonry, while the horizontal layers of four clay plinths enhance its structural strength.

It is difficult to date the monument, since the earliest relative reference appears only in the 14th century. However, both the masonry of the fortress and an inscription inserted into the wall of a tower next to the entrance, reading “Theodosius’ Building” (the inscription examined by young Stilpon Kyriakides) attest that the fortress was probably constructed by Emperor Theodosius I in the late 4th century AD.

The wall remained intact until 1363. The successive incursions (Turks, Bulgarians) destroyed large parts of it and the towers were demolished. Now only some sections of the wall are preserved.